The City of Cold Lake made the decision to issue temporary leaves to over 25 staff members, they said on Thursday, due to continued facility closures and a reduction in services as a result of COVID-19.
The City has taken measures to adhere to the provincial and federal guidelines governing the response to COVID-19.
This has meant closures to many facilities, while access to others has been limited.
Together with physical distancing and a reduction in programs and services being provided to the community, the City of Cold Lake was faced with tough decisions regarding current staffing levels.
“This was a very difficult decision and we hope these valued staff members will be able to return to their positions as soon as possible,” said Kevin Nagoya, Chief Administrative Officer.
“This is an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in and the city’s administration must always maintain a respect for taxpayers’ dollars. We made every reasonable effort to have all staff members work for as long as possible, however, because of the protracted nature of the COVID-19 health emergency, it had come to the point where this challenging decision had to be made.”
City staff members being placed on leave will have access to a registered supplemental unemployment benefit plan, and will also have the option to provide the city with expressions of interest for potential redeployment and reassignment opportunities, if available.
“This challenging decision reflects only the fiscal reality that our community, like many others, is facing due to the health emergency,” Nagoya said.
“The City of Cold Lake is a beautiful place to live in large part because of the dedication of our staff members. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome our colleagues back and resume our programs and services in due course.”
The City of Cold Lake reminds residents to follow the Government of Alberta for the most up-to-date information relating to COVID-19 at alberta.ca/COVID19 and to visit www.coldlake.com/content/covid19 for local information.